JKUAT is set to be audited by Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) on ISO 14001:2004, an international Environmental Management Systems. The pre-certification Audit scheduled between April 10 and 17 will be conducted in three campuses namely: Juja, Karen and Westlands. The initiative by JKUAT to operate within environmentally sound and safe system, which began in 2010, is in line with local and international environmental regulations.
Environmental regulations demands minimum atmospheric emissions, less energy and water consumption, use of renewable or recyclable materials and promotion of products with extended life cycles to minimize waste among others. The University has also committed to enhance its immediate environment by planting 30, 000 trees by June 2014 besides undertaking a number of landscaping activities within and around its campuses.
Already, JKUAT has developed and implemented requisite environmental programmes besides identifying and documenting environmental aspects for various departments. The university has also undertaken two internal audits on Environmental Management Systems to enhance its readiness for the international mark of quality.
As part of preparation for the audit, staffers drawn from various departments, campuses and CBD centres Thursday, April 3, 2014 undertook a sensitization workshop on the environmental management
Addressing the workshop participants on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi urged the staffers to continuously improve on the demands of ISO 14001:2004. Ngumi who is also the acting DVC Administration, Planning and Development reaffirmed that environment safety remained a priority to JKUAT hence the push towards certification.
‘Let us own the EMS process just like we did with QMS,’ noted Prof. Ngumi. ‘Be sure to cascade learned knowledge to other members of staff on procedures and practices of EMS.’
Prof. G. Kenji who is leading JKUAT team involved in spearheading EMS certification highlighted the milestones made and urged participants to keep a tub on desirable practices norms as provided for the ISO 14001:2004 standards.
In 2012, JKUAT mandated Environmentalistes San’s Frontiers (ESF) consultants, a professional and regional firm on environmental management to guide it in its quest to achieve and exceed environmental safety thresholds. The University is the first institution in Kenya’s higher education sector to embark on EMS certification.
Linet Mbova, a consultant with ESF took participants through ISO 14001:2004 requirements including control of documents and records. She also expounded on the benefits of embracing environmental certification like cost cutting, and minimum negative impacts on the environment.